When the heat of summer is at its peak, the worst thing that can happen is for your central air conditioning system to conk out on you. It is important to keep steady comfort in your home or building to keep the occupants relaxed.
Following are the most common central AC problems that can be avoided with proper use of the equipment coupled with routine maintenance:
- AC unit doesn’t turn on. – It can be annoying when you want to cool your space and the AC doesn’t switch on, and you hear no humming sound. While this could only be a case of a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse, it could be due to loose or broken wiring or thermostat issues. You may only need to replace the blown fuse or reset the breaker, but if it is more serious than that, you need to leave the job to the pros.
- There are thermostat malfunctions. – If the thermostat isn’t correctly calibrated or is not working fine, it may not automatically signal the aircon unit to switch on. If the thermostat is set at the lowest temperature, and the unit still fails to start, call a repair technician right away. The thermostat may need replacement or recalibration. Older, dial-type thermostat models are more prone to calibration issues, but newer programmable models can sometimes be difficult to program.
When troubleshooting your AC, make sure to refer to the thermostat section of the manual. This way, you can be assured that the thermostat is properly programmed.
- The refrigerant level is low. – When your unit is performing below par, one of the possible suspects is a low level of refrigerant. If the refrigerant is running low, it often means one of two things: there is a leak, or there wasn’t enough charge during installation. If you notice your home or office space isn’t properly cooling, or you feel some sticky air, the refrigerant is most likely low.
If there isn’t enough refrigerant, humidity cannot be taken out of the air effectively. The refrigerant is the AC’s lifeblood and can be likened to your car’s motor oil. While your technician might stumble on a leak during the troubleshooting process, the solution may not be as simple as adding refrigerant.
Just as it is often a sign of big trouble when your car often needs oil, so is having constantly low refrigerant levels in your air conditioning unit. It often indicates a leak and must be fixed by an experienced HVAC specialist. If there are multiple leaks, the unit may require replacement.
- The unit heats up due to condenser issues. – The condenser coil is an important component, and should always be considered when coming up with an AC troubleshooting plan. The coil is tasked with discharging the heat from the air by sending it outside the building. A part of the outdoor unit, the condenser coil is exposed to soot, dirt, and other pollutants that easily make it grimy. When dirty, the condenser coils may not properly transfer heat. As a result, your unit will work harder, adding to the system’s normal wear and tear.
- A frozen evaporator coil can, ironically, means unnecessary heat. – The evaporator coil is the culprit for the undesired warmer than the usual temperature in your home. The coil contains heat-absorbing refrigerant. When the airflow is lessened, an ice layer can form and accumulate on the evaporator coil. When this happens, it may result in no or warm air from the AC. It may be due to low refrigerant, dirty air filters, or blocked return air in the ductwork.
- The ducts are dirty or leaking. – Uneven cooling or generally warmer air than usual may mean improper airflow through the ducts. Although a central AC system is often sealed – with ductwork hidden behind ceilings and walls, it is not uncommon to experience tears, sometimes resulting from careless workers or overzealous rodents.
The ductwork carries the return air into the system for cooling and treatment. If there is a tear in the ducts, the air will leak from the walls. This can affect the occupants’ comfort and can be costly to repair. Leaky ducts can result in overall warmer temperatures that will force the system to work double-time, resulting in higher electricity bills.
- The system operates with unnecessary noise. – The AC unit is equipped with a fan designed to blow indoor air over the evaporator coil. This cools the air as a condenser fan blows air on top to send the heat from the inside to the outside. A common noise source is a fan motor that could be dirty or full of debris. The noise could also be due to deteriorating bearings or worn-out belts. If you notice some noise when checking the unit, shut the unit off, then call an HVAC specialist to prevent further damage.
Some common central air conditioning issues can be addressed with simple DIY fixes, while some can be prevented with regular troubleshooting and preventive maintenance practices. Thus, there is no overstating the fact that proper maintenance and the right use of the equipment are crucial in keeping the optimal functioning of the air conditioning system and maintaining the comfort enjoyed by the occupants.
However, some issues are beyond DIY fixes, and the effects of normal wear and tear are inevitable – even with proper care and maintenance. When the need for pros to step in arises, you can count on Air Repair Pros McKinney for immediate help. We are the leading HVAC service provider in the area. Call us now to know how we can help!